Categories
The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-9

Dalengor pointed out the saboteur’s cell. Admiral Conso Forsorna was a Troll/Incubus Blender with a Lust Demon’s eyes, wings, horns, and tail. “Captain Royana,” he purred. “It’s an honor to be here.”

“Spare me, Admiral! We both know you’re stealing supplies!” hissed Arsha. His smile then vanished.

“All right, let’s do as you suggested and get straight to the interrogation!”

“You stole supplies from us!”

“To make sure you go along with the Council’s decision! Aldarval’s constructing a Realmgate behind our backs after we overrode her veto on keeping the Realms separate! Why?!” Dalengor snarled.

“You’re the one being-!” Arsha raised her hand to stop her.

“We’re gonna humor him and go through his interrogation.” She then turned to Conso. “We’re reconnecting the Realms one way or another and halting the Trinnies’ attempts to create their own.”

“Come on, they’re not that smart!”

“You’re underestimating the genius of their leaders! Dr. Borg probably looked at all the Realmgates, figured out the network, and decided to make her own when the old ones were destroyed!”

“I don’t underestimate her genius. You, on the other hand, overestimate her.”

“I most certainly do NOT! But, let’s forget about her for a minute and get to more important matters! Do you have any idea how many supply lines this irresponsible act has disrupted?! My own castle’s technology came from other Realms! Heating fuel from the Under-realm! Masonry from the Over-realm! Barely any Realm uses their own resources, we all made our money by exporting them!”

“We seem to be surviving just fine without the Realmgates! Our economies ARE still stable!”

“But for how long?! I know Dr. Borg! She’ll strike when our economies finally collapse! She’ll give us access to her own Realmgate network only if we bow to her! She adapts! Evolves! Destroying her is the only chance we have to survive and thrive!” Conso shut his eyes in annoyance.

“Given your history with Dr. Borg, I have a certain…sympathy for your desire to end her life. But I cannot condone the rebuilding of the Realmgates if it means the continuation of the Final War. Your crew is hereby ordered to halt your labors and begin taking what you’ve made apart so we can negotiate with the Realm Trinity Empire.”

“…I’m afraid negotiation is impossible, especially for me, Lardeth, Malnar, and our parents.”

“You lot won’t even try?!”

“Our Blood Contract forbids that.” Conso blinked.

“…You mean, that bit about the Blood Contract during your address to the Realms on the day your parents declared war? That was real?”

“I have the scar to prove it.” She showed off the back of her right hand to give Conso a good look at her signature scarred onto it. She continued her explanation. “It said that we would avenge Andwayla’s death by destroying the Realm Trinity Empire. If we try to negotiate with them, it would be considered reneging on the contract, and we’d lose our lives. We CAN’T negotiate with the Trinnies.” Conso looked at her in horror. “They worship Oyed, remember? He won’t rest until the Realms are destroyed. We HAVE to destroy him and his followers to survive, meaning we need to be more aggressive.”

“Well, you just left me with a horrid choice,” growled Conso, “whether to stop you and let you die to save the Realms or to allow you to continue this fruitless war you, your lovers, and respective parents started!”

“I don’t know if you fully understand,” replied Arsha, “but an Under-realm ruler was killed, an Over-realm ruler was wounded, and those acts took place in the Mid-realm. Andwayla Narven introduced methods that helped us hunt down Splitters in record time; her assassin, Yamta, spat on those contributions by killing her! If you were in our position-!”

“Arsha, you don’t need to explain yourself!” urged Dalengor. Arsha didn’t stop.

“If you were in our position, Sir, you would do the same.”

“…I’m not in your position, though. I can’t even BEGIN to imagine your thought process on the eve of the War! You lot may have found a way to ignore the exhaustive implications of combat, but I have no such luxury! I don’t have the freedom to kill you to save the Realms! We’ve long agreed that such an act is reprehensible and entirely unacceptable! If the end of the Realms was farther off, I would have your parents executed and you and your fellows forced to give up your claims to your respective thrones, but Aldarval will surely veto that and we couldn’t amass the necessary voices to overturn her veto, and I am NOT prepared to keep you locked up forever! So I see no alternative…but to be the single “no” vote when we decide on keeping the Realmgates closed forever and to allow you to continue with your work on rebuilding the Realmgates.”

“…Very well,” sighed Arsha. “Dalengor, let him go.”

“Captain!”

“That’s an order.” Dalengor hesitated, then she keyed in a command on the console and lowered the energy field on Conso’s cell. He then stepped out of the cell and turned to leave, then he turned back to Arsha.

“Take a message to the All-realm Royals and Aldarval,” he hissed, “I will be monitoring you lot VERY closely. If I EVER find out that you intend to prolong this war, I won’t hesitate in taking aggressive action against you all! If the Final War doesn’t end by this year, you, Lardeth, and Malnar are to surrender your claims to your respective thrones! Is that clear?!” Arsha nodded, then Conso left.

“You can’t agree to that!” hissed Dalengor. “We need YOU to rule the Mid-realm! Wasn’t it your dream to marry your lovers and unite the Realms?!”

“I received a report a day ago,” explained Arsha. “Eltan’s group of renegade Revenants found out that the Trinnies betrayed Oyed and weakened him as well as all the Divine Ones. Right now, Dr. Borg’s forces are manageable. I have a good feeling we WILL win the Final War before the year’s out.”

“That’s three months out though!”

“Then we’ll win in three months. I can see it now, all of Rokanth going through a five-day victory vice…oh Depths, what was I thinking?!”

“Captain?”

“That must be why Mom and Dad smoked! Seeing me again allowed for a victory vice! …Depths, I was rude! I gotta go take care of something!” She immediately dashed towards her quarters.

Categories
The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-8

Arsha and Marshii were briefed on the situation with the Ralandren government and what parts were needed to fix the Realmgate. They met with Aldarval and Norvorok. “The way I see it,” mused Arsha, “we have two methods of attack for this situation. First off, we DO have the supplies needed to fix the Realmgate. Second, well, that depends on Marshii.”

“We’ve got the medical staff we need to help,” replied Marshii.

“Perfect. Then Marshii and her staff will help with the petrification virus while Thangred and his team can sort out the Realmgate repairs. We’ll have security teams round the clock for any saboteurs. Any sighted crooks, the security officer that catches them is to immediately teleport the perp into a brig cell and tell me about it so I can personally question them. Aldarval, is there a timetable attached to this?”

“I would like to have Heenda unpetrified in three days,” answered Aldarval. “The Council’s about to meet again and they would prefer all members to be in attendance. He can call for a second vote on keeping the Realmgates closed, and we should be able to reconnect the Realms without any interruptions.”

“We can try and free him in that amount of time, but I can’t guarantee anything,” remarked Marshii.

“Do what you can,” directed Aldarval. “Now, unless there’s anything more, I’d call this meeting adjourned.” No one said anything as they got up. When they rounded a corner, Marshii DID say something to Arsha.

“Captain, can you send someone to investigate your parents’ quarters?”

“Why?” asked Arsha. “What’s wrong?”

“There’s been a funny smell emanating from there the past few days.” Arsha arched her eyebrow.

“I’ll…see what’s up personally.” She left Marshii and made her way to her parents’ quarters. The instant she reached for the door, she smelt the smell. As she sniffed, she sighed and thought of Rokanth, Foresna’s home. Mainly Halfling inhabited, there was always the scent of tobacco in the air…tobacco…Arsha then realized that the “funny smell” was tobacco smoke! She rang the door chime.

“Come in,” called her dad. She opened the door and found Elgrad and Hanako each smoking a tobacco pipe!

“MAMA! DADDY!” she cried. “WHAT’S ALL THIS?!”

“Arsha, what’s wrong?” asked Elgrad.

“What’s wrong?! When did you two start smoking?! You know what, forget it! You can explain this to Marshii!”

“Arsha-” began Hanako.

“Don’t wanna hear it! You! Me! Sick Bay! Now!”


“Really?!” snapped Marshii when she heard the story. Arsha simply stayed silent, glaring at her parents, and having transferred her hairpiece to her waist. “Really, you two?! Three days?! You started smoking the instant Arsha retook command of the ship three days ago?! That’s really all it takes for a land-dweller to start smoking?!”

“It’s well within our authority to do so,” rumbled Elgrad.

“Don’t talk to me about authority!” grunted the old mermaid. “Even if we forget every single risk associated with smoking, do you realize how much it costs?! It’s 100 golds per tobacco pouch right now! Higher for Rokanth-grown tobacco! Talking to me about authority?! You know, I have the authority to quarantine your asses from the rest of the crew!”

“…We’re well-aware, Doctor.”

“Marshii, is there precedence for this?” asked Arsha.

“Not within their families, no,” replied Marshii. “No Royana has smoked since Mortak took control of the Mid-realm and the Rotanos haven’t smoked since the First Age. This is new territory for them.”

“Are we in any immediate danger?” asked Hanako. Marshii bit her tongue before she went off. It was time for information gathering, not a tirade.

“What happens if you don’t puff on your pipe for, say, a half-hour?”

“…I don’t know.”

“Oh sweet Ones!” groaned Arsha as she put her head to the wall. This wasn’t a headache she expected.

“Yesterday,” explained Elgrad, “I was stuck in one of the elevators for ten minutes due to a power fluctuation during maintenance. I didn’t have my pipe on me, and I started shaking. I couldn’t stop until I smoked.”

“Well, medical analysis (and a little bit of common sense) says that if you two keep it up, it’s only gonna get worse,” remarked Marshii. “Worse case and the likeliest scenario at this rate, you won’t be able to go ten seconds without a puff.”

“Can’t you just give them a potion to get them to kick the habit?” asked Arsha.

“Those kinds of potions have to match their biology. In this specific scenario, your parents are Patients One and Zero. Given that they came from really healthy families, it’s gonna take a while to whip one up.”

“How long’s that gonna take?” asked Elgrad.

“Hours, days maybe. Nurse Raltin’s good at whipping up potions. He might offer a better estimate than me. Until then, we need a cleaning crew to get rid of the tobacco smell in their quarters.”

“I’ll assign one right away,” declared Arsha. “I won’t have people become second-hand smokers. Mom, Dad, you can stay in mine while that’s going on. You’ll return to your own once they’re clean. And while you’re crashing in mine, I’m gonna lay down a ground-rule here: you two need to support each other through this. No smoking in my quarters or anywhere on my ship!” Just then, Dalengor’s voice came through the comms.

“Brig to Arsha,” she called. Arsha took the call.

“Go ahead,” she replied.

“We’ve got a saboteur in a brig cell. You’re not gonna believe this, but it’s Admiral Conso.” Arsha’s eyes went wide.

“Conso?! Sabotage?!” asked Marshii.

“On my way!” declared Arsha. She then turned to Marshii. “Can Nurse Raltin work on the smoker potion without you?”

“Easily. He can mix potions in his sleep, not that he should.”

“Have him keep me abreast on progress. I’m heading to the brig. Oh, and Mom? Dad?”

“Yes, sweetie?” asked Hanako.

“Malnar and Lardeth’s parents are gonna hear about this as well as my lovers.” She then left Sick Bay and made her way to the brig.

Categories
The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-7

After she was cleared for duty, Arsha put her duty uniform back on and examined herself in the mirror. She sighed as she felt herself returning to old habits. She then thought about her rose hairpiece. She then guessed that it must have been lost when Oyed beat her up half a year ago. She then heard the door chime. “Come in,” she called. Elgrad then entered.

“That look suits you better, Sweetie,” he remarked.

“It certainly feels better than that hospital gown,” she replied. “Although, it feels like it’s still incomplete. I guess it’s just me missing my hair ornament.” She then shook her head slightly. “Oh well, I guess I’ll have to go without it.”

“Then what am I gonna do with this?” Elgrad then pulled his hand out from behind him and revealed Arsha’s rose hairpiece! Arsha’s eyes lit up in surprised happiness.

“I thought it was gone forever! Daddy, where did you find that?!”

“In Wysper City, of all places. Someone found it four months ago and held onto it until they managed to get my attention. I kept it in my quarters the entire time.” Elgrad handed it back to her and she set it into its proper place in her hair bun. She then felt a swell of strength coming from within her as she looked into the mirror once again.

“Much better! Thanks for holding onto it, Daddy!”

“Anything for my little girl.” Arsha gave the mirror one last glance.

“Well, I better get to the bridge. We should be arriving at the Plains by now.”

“Good luck, Arsha!” bid Elgrad as they left the room and went in opposite directions. Arsha then entered the bridge with the confidence she was known for. Denstra left the Captain’s chair and took her own. Arsha sat in the Captain’s chair, feeling like she was returning to an old friend of hers.

“Approaching the Plains,” Nazay reported.

“They’ve accepted our codes and are giving us a landing path,” called Shalvey.

“Nazay, set us down,” ordered Arsha. “It’s time to get some work done here.”

“Beginning landing cycle,” confirmed Nazay. The Endeavor then glided down and slowed down so it wouldn’t kick up so much debris or loose ends. She then touched down and a group of Centaur soldiers came up to greet them.


Arsha, Denstra, Endea, and Bashoon were led to a bunker where Aldarval was talking to a pair of people, a Neko woman and a Human man. “Sabotage? Are you sure?” asked Aldarval.

“There’s no doubt about it,” replied the Neko. “Someone’s against us rebuilding the Realmgate.”

“And whether or not it’s the Trinnies or the Council,” muttered Aldarval, “makes no difference.” One of the Centaur soldiers cleared her throat, attracting their attention. Aldarval grinned at seeing Arsha again. “When I heard you were actually alive, I couldn’t believe it!” she chuckled. “But it’s great to see you again, Arsha!”

“It’s great to see you too, Admiral,” returned Arsha. “What’s this about sabotage?”

“It’s been going on for about a quarter of a year now,” explained the Neko. “Every time we’re close to a breakthrough, some nitwit decides it’s good to undo the work in some capacity! We were supposed to have finished it by now, but we’re still three-fourths of the way!”

“And nerves are really getting frayed here,” continued the Human. “Although, with Bashoon’s help, I might be able to help people and get them to calm down.”

“…Do we know each other personally?” asked Bashoon. The Human smiled softly.

“You’ve been enjoying freedom for a long time. …I willingly chose imprisonment over my sins.” Bashoon’s eyes then lit up.

“Novice Norvorok!” She was about to hug him, then recalled something. “Whoa, hang on! Last time I saw you, your hospital was breeding Chimeras for experimentation!”

“I’ve sought redemption, Bashoon!” answered Norvorok. “Ever since my arrest, I’ve been seeking forgiveness under his guidance! If you help me now, you’ll be able to help the Realms in the process!”

“I’m not working with you, buddy! Not after the torture you helped that hospital put those Chimeras through!”

“You need to come with me, right now!”

“Oh no, YOU’RE coming with ME!”

“Lieutenant, enough,” interjected Arsha.

“I’m sorry, Bashoon,” said Norvorok as he pulled out a bracelet, “but the situation is more dire than you thought! Malutan!”

“DON’T YOU DARE!” Bashoon and Norvorok then vanished. Arsha blinked, then looked at Aldarval.

“Norvorok’s been rather spun up about his project,” explained the Admiral. “In any event, we must talk.”

“Yes, what’s this about sabotage?”

“Various supplies are being stolen,” explained the Neko. “We’ve been trying to construct a Realmgate without them, but we’re just not able to make a stable portal!”

“What are the supplies you need, Miss…?”

“Pouncara. Nekini Pouncara.” Arsha blinked.

“The harem outfit model?”

“I needed to put my engineering degree to use in these times of war.”

“…I’m amazed. Anyways, what supplies do you need?”


Bashoon and Norvorok managed to land flat on their faces. “Oof! Ow!” groaned Bashoon. “Rough teleport! Then again, that always happens with a Tele-bracelet.” Her expression then hardened again. “But you can teleport us back!”

“I only had the power for one trip!” replied Norvorok.

“Then get some more! Where are we?!”

“We’re at the Capital City.”

“Good! Then you can tell King Heenda that I’d like a word! They’ve got hundreds of their people trapped in other Realms! THOUSANDS!

“But you’re in the Royal Castle! Right now!” Norvorok then flicked the lights on to show Centaur statues.

“…What’s with the artwork?” asked Bashoon, confused.

“Let’s just say the sculptors were Gorgons, renegades that tried to kill Erudsa after she sided with us.” Bashoon then realized what, or rather, WHO, the statues were. She got a good look at the statues around the throne and realized they were King Heenda Untarfu, his harem with his harem head, Laumney, and their son, Kunfar. “A voice was silenced,” continued Norvorok. “If he attended the Realmfleet Council meeting, then he would have struck down the motion of not rebuilding the Realmgates.”

“How long has it been like this?”

“Just a month after the Realmgates were destroyed, the day before the decision to keep the Realms closed off to one another. This petrification wasn’t the result of the usual Gorgon’s Stare. The renegade Gorgons disguised themselves as travelling merchants and sold a new potion to the people of the castle. When it evaporated, it released a virus that resulted in turning them into living statues. It died before it could leave the castle. It froze the local government in three minutes flat. There was only enough time to close the castle off from the outside world.”

“You said living statues. How did you-?” a scared moan then escaped from Kunfar’s statue, answering Bashoon’s question.

“They’ve been unable to die or move,” continued Norvorok. “They’re stuck forever in their respective poses.”

“So you’ve been trying to find a cure and give Aldarval the voice she needs to pass an executive order to rebuild the Realmgates.”

“We don’t have enough medics, even with their help! They’re doing all they can!”

“Who’s we? How are you still flesh and blood?”

“One of them told me about this! They’ve all been waiting for the Endeavor these long years!”

“Norvorok?” called a woman’s voice. They both turned to see a Chimera woman enter the throne room. She had the legs of a goat, a mermaid’s tail, a tiger’s torso, talons for hands, the eyes of a lizard, and a pair of tiny horns on her head, just barely visible under her auburn hair. “Ah, there you are,” greeted the Chimera woman. She then saw Bashoon and gasped. “One of the Saviors! Bashoon Barmek!”

“Er, I’m sorry, I’m at a disadvantage. Who are you?”

“I’m Lanbuldii Lorntar, Savior Bashoon!”

“Stop that, I’m as mortal as you.”

“She and her fellows have called the Endeavor crew their Saviors since they were saved from the Monastic Hospital’s Womb,” explained Norvorok.

“…She’s one of the Chimeras from the Womb?!” realized Bashoon.

“And thanks to the research, I’ve been cured of my pain!” explained Lanbuldii.

“Thanks to Crossgene Hospital’s newer research methods, we’ve saved them all,” continued Norvorok. “I was made the head of the research team as penance for my sins.”

“We received news about the virus about a day after it hit the castle. The Centaurs smaller government officials are doing what they can to keep the Plains running, but without a central figure to guide them, the Plains would have gone tribal.”

“So you saved them,” summarized Bashoon.

“We tried to cure them,” supplied Norvorok as he gestured to the petrified Centaurs, “but we simply don’t have enough people to help. Even the Gorgon doctors are baffled.”

“There are other countries in the Over-realm that have doctors to help,” reminded Bashoon, “even those initially from other Realms.”

“Not nearly enough,” replied Norvorok. “We need Marshii’s genius. We couldn’t get a message to her until we got reports that the Endeavor found Arsha.”

“So you’ve stayed here all on your own for the entire half-year?”

“I had no choice! I can’t leave these people to their suffering!”

“…Can’t is a matter of fact. You actually can, but you won’t. That makes it a choice.” Bashoon finally gave him a warm smile. “You really ARE serious about repenting.”

“Bashoon, we need the Endeavor’s help more than ever!”

“And you’ll have it. This, I promise.” The two then hugged.

Categories
The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-6

“THE NEWS BROKE OUT?!” shouted Oyed as he met with Dr. Borg outside the frigid wastes of the new base.

“You were the one,” remarked Dr. Borg, “that insisted all logs be linked to a central database. But, to answer your question, yes, the Realms know of Arsha’s survival.”

“IDIOT! THE EMPIRE’S AT RISK!”

“If you would care to…” Dr. Borg then felt the sharpest, most excruciating pain erupt between her wings. She opened her mouth in a silent scream as she fell to the floor. Oyed then grabbed her by the antennae and slammed his fist into her face.

“You have failed me for the last time!” He tossed her across the room into a stack of barrels. He then charged up a magic blast, only for her to fire her own into it, making it explode in his face. She then flew towards him and slammed her metal fist into his gut. Oyed recovered and slammed his fists to the ground, making it rise up to meet her. It knocked her out of the air and he leapt at her, but her taloned feet grabbed him and she slammed him into the ground. He then grabbed her feet and threw her into a wall before picking himself up and dusting himself off. “Very well, you’re still entertaining. You may live a little while longer.” He left the room. Dr. Borg picked herself up painfully, then checked something on her cybernetic arm’s hidden computer. She checked the readings, then grinned. She hobbled her way to the medical room and found a berth. Shefarn then wheeled in via a water chair and saw the damage.

“Sweet Oyed!” he cried. “What happened?! Did an experiment go wrong?!”

“Actually, an experiment went right,” she explained. “I got all the readings I needed for Project: Ascension to succeed.”

“Wait a minute, I see bruises here! And cracked ribs on the scanner! Cytanek, did you get into a fight with Oyed?!”

“He heard that the news of Arsha’s survival broke out and…held me responsible, as it were.”

“He damn near KILLED you! You had to shut down your resurrector machines, remember?! If you didn’t stop when you did, you’d be dead, and we’d be widows before Project: Ascension came to fruition!” Shefarn began tending to his wife.

“I had to fight back to prevent that outcome. He seemed entertained by my attempt, at least, so I bought us some time. I’ve already given the readings to Jansha. It should take her a few days to recalibrate the machine for a Titan.”

“Well, until then, YOU’RE laid up here!” grunted Shefarn.

“As my handsome doctor wishes,” purred Dr. Borg.

“Flattery’s not getting you out of here any faster!”


As Dr. Borg was being healed, she got an earful from the rest of her spouses and Jansha about how stupid she was being. Once she was cleared for duty, her family simply gave her looks that indicated they were still mad at her, only much less so, now that they knew they were ready for their project to begin. She told Oyed that she had a plan to correct Arsha’s survival and tip the balance of power in the Empire’s favor and needed to address the whole Empire. Oyed then ordered for the Empire to return to base and attend a demonstration of Dr. Borg’s plan. Everyone assembled as Oyed and the Imperial Council sat at a table on a stage facing the audience. There was just one person missing. “Where’s Yulduk?” asked a Golem.

“Now that’s a good question,” replied Remsu, “but I’m sad to say I don’t know.”

“I must admit, I’m woefully ignorant of his location,” remarked Oyed. Yulduk then stepped onto the stage, looking perturbed about something. “…Is everything all right?” asked Oyed.

“There was a piece of lettuce in the urinal next to the one I used!” explained Yulduk. He looked to the crowd. “Which one of you putzes eats while going to the bathroom?! That’s just disgusting!”

“This coming from the guy who leaves pizza boxes strewn all across his room,” muttered Dr. Borg. As Yulduk glared, he sat down while Dr. Borg stood up. “Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve suffered a grievous setback with Arsha’s survival and reclaiming the Endeavor, but I stand before you now with a plan! A plan so epic, my fellow Councilors and I needed outside help and funding! So, let’s give a hand to Borome Garsheek!” A Goblin man then stepped up onto the stage as everyone clapped.

“A pleasure to be here, Dr. Borg!” called Borome. He then turned to the crowd. “You may or may not remember me as the one who infiltrated the Diamond Consortium and used that position to murder Lord and Lady Varsek!”

“Wait, that was him?” asked Oyed. “I thought it was a Crimson Diamond who did it.”

“Of course, it was me!” snapped Borome. “I killed Lord and Lady Varsek, made Realmfleet start Arsha’s journey before she was ready, and funded Dr. Borg’s research into resurrection! I! was Arsha’s! first! ENEMY!” He then drew in a breath and calmed himself. “It was nice to run the Empire’s supply lines in the shadows, but I’m very happy to be recognized publicly.”

“You know, I DID wonder where Dr. Borg got the money for her experiments and the Empire’s supplies,” mused Yamta.

“Oh, it was all thanks to him, I assure you,” replied Dr. Borg. “And, Borome, you’re about to witness what your funds were used for. I present to you Project: Ascension!” She snapped her fingers and the curtains behind the Council were raised to reveal the Divine Ones hooked up to their mechanical prison. “Thanks to the war, My science team and I were able to learn the limits of the Divine Ones and create this machine to hold them and drain them of their life-blood, their Divine Mana, the most powerful form of mana in existence!” She pulled a cloth off a table to reveal ten bottles of liquid mana in the ten colors of the Divine Ones. “Here they are! The liquid essences of the ten elements that make up our Realms; love, fire, magic, lightning, earth, water, air, endings, balance, and beginnings!” Oyed then laughed in an evil and joyous manner.

“OH, THIS IS JUST TOO GOOD!” he cheered. “MY CHILDREN, FELLED BY MORTALS INSTEAD OF ME! I DIDN’T NEED TO LIFT A FINGER! Dr. Borg, you have pleased me to no end!”

“I hate to disappoint you right now, but Project: Ascension isn’t ready just yet.”

“Then what needs to be done to complete it?! I won’t rest until I find what you need! Neither shall the Empire!”

“Willing to contribute, are we?”

“Of course!”

“Good to know.” Dr. Borg then pressed a button on the table and a tube buried itself into Oyed’s back as multiple restraints clamped onto him and hoisted him into the air!

“Borg, what’s the meaning of this?! RELEASE ME AT ONCE!”

“We’re the ones in charge of this operation, not you!” snarled Scorpo.

“Look, it’s nothing personal…no, I take that back, it’s VERY personal!” hissed Dr. Borg. “Did you really think anyone assembled here would allow you to destroy the Realms?! We all need something to rule, and we can’t do that if our world is destroyed! We just need a bit more Divine Mana to help hurry Project: Ascension along, and you’re the last source of it!” The audience then cheered, forcing Oyed to face the reality that he had no allies.

“I WILL DESTROY YOU ALL FOR THIS!” he roared. “YOUR LIVES ARE FORFEIT!”

“Would someone begin the draining process already?!” called Dr. Borg.

“I got it, dear!” replied Tensam as one of his legs pressed a green button. Oyed then felt the tube sucking his Divine Mana out of him! He howled in pain before becoming as emaciated and weak as his children. The Divine Mana that was extracted shifted in the darker colors of his children’s.

“The next step,” chuckled Dr. Borg, “is to blend Oyed’s with each of the ten bottles.”

“That’s when you become the new gods of the Realms, right?” called a Revenant.

“Bingo!” confirmed Dr. Borg.

“Wait, Doctor,” interjected Borome, “how dangerous is it?”

“That’s where the Empire comes in. You see, we can’t just drink Divine Mana directly, the resulting power surge would kill us. The only way for us to take in the Divine Mana safely is to use a Divine Tower. According to records we obtained, there’s one still here in the Under-realm. While Arsha is locked in the Over-realm and focusing on rebuilding the Realmgate Network, I need you all to find the last Divine Tower. Have our operatives to slow Arsha down at the very least. I won’t cry if you actually do what Oyed failed to do in the first place, it will mean you’re actually better than him. Once the Tower’s found, report to us and give us the location. Who’s ready to end the Final War and be the authors of history for future generations?!” The crowd cheered and left the auditorium to carry out Dr. Borg’s orders. Tormo then spoke to Borome.

“And you’re okay with the war ending?” he asked. “I mean, you profited a lot.”

“Eh, I can profit just as well in peace,” replied Borome. “You taught me to be flexible in that regard.”

“That’s my boy!” Tormo then gave him a man-hug, a hug with both men slapping the other’s backside silly, then Borome broke it off and went to join his fellows.

“…You think we should be as active as the Divine Ones in terms of mortal affairs?” asked Femfaf.

“I’d say a little more active than that,” replied Dr. Borg. “We must show them our appreciation in them helping us ascend to godhood.” Femfaf considered Dr. Borg’s words and nodded.

“True that.”

Categories
The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-5

Arsha made it to Sick Bay to see her medical staff treating the wounded. One of the patients, a male Ice Elf, then caught sight of her. “Hey! The Captain’s all right!” he called. Marshii looked to see Arsha sitting herself down in a nearby empty spot.

“Well, as I live and breathe!” she sighed. “So we’re okay enough for you to be off the bridge?”

“Denstra’s a capable enough commander,” replied Arsha. “Besides, she’s led you guys for half a year.”

“True. I’m afraid I’ve got too many wounded here. You’re kind of…how should I put it…” Arsha held her hand up in assurance.

“I figured there would be other people with more injuries than me. You take care of them first. I frankly need some rest.”

“After the day you’ve just woken up to? Best thing you could do for yourself. Rest easy, Arsha. I’ll be with you later.” Marshii returned to her work as Arsha let herself nod off, glad to have some decent sleep.


Later, Arsha felt herself being gently pushed. She woke up and saw Marshii. She then remembered where she was and picked herself up. Sick Bay had a lot of beds filled with the wounded, but they were all stable. Those that had minor injuries were cleared for duty at a quicker rate than those that weren’t so lucky. Arsha noticed a mermaid without an arm, one she knew had two arms before. Judging by the wound, she had lost the arm recently. The princess was led to an empty bed and was instructed to lie down on it. As she did, Marshii activated a scanner and started getting readings. “You know, you’ve got people who are worried sick about you,” mused Marshii.

“I only saw Lardeth in the halls as I rushed to the bridge,” replied Arsha.

“Well, no worries, your lovers, parents, and future in-laws are all right. In fact, your parents are outside.”

“When can they come in?”

“Right now.” Marshii pressed an intercom button. “Your Majesties, your daughter needs to see you.” Elgrad and Hanako then came into Sick Bay and were led to Arsha by one of the nurses. It was then that Arsha noticed how haggard her parents looked.

“Hey, Daddy, Mama,” she chuckled.

“Arsha, it’s so great to see you again!” Elgrad sobbed happily as he embraced her.

“My darling daughter, we scoured every part of the Over-realm for you!” Hanako joined in the happy tears and hugging. Arsha’s eyes then released her own tears as she embraced her parents.

“I’m not leaving you again!” she promised. “I won’t leave again!” Marshii didn’t say a word, she just got misty-eyed at the scene as she thought to her family. The embrace lasted a good long while. No words were spoken; they weren’t even needed. They just sat there, hugging one another. It was after a good three minutes that Marshii had to cut in.

“Your Majesties, I know you’re happy to see your daughter, but there are others that want to get a look at her before I clear her for duty.” The Royanas reluctantly broke off the embrace as they got up. They left Sick bay and allowed the Felomphas to take their place, sans Lardeth.

“There she is, the Conquering Hero!” cheered Endram.

“Arsha, it’s great to see you again!” sighed Pofomofo happily as she set a bouquet of Fire Roses down.

“Those are Under-realm flowers! How did you-?!” asked Arsha as she saw her favorite flowers.

“There was a florist here in the Over-realm that sold them before the…well…” Pofomofo trailed off as she looked outside.

“Yeah, I heard about the Realmgates being destroyed on my way here,” sighed Arsha.

“We’re trying to rebuild them in secret,” explained Jeefef, “but the Realmfleet Council’s planning on stopping us!”

“WHAT?!” protested Arsha. “I thought they would want to have them rebuilt!”

“They thought,” remarked Olmarfa, “that keeping the Realmgates out of the picture until the war is over would stymy the enemy’s advance. They somehow don’t believe that Dr. Borg is smart enough to make another means of crossing the Realms.”

“Ones in the Heights!” groaned Arsha. “This is one big mess! So those that aren’t from their native Realms are stuck?!”

“That is, unfortunately, the situation in a nutshell,” sighed Ufnamfa.

“I certainly hope Aldarval’s not onboard with this!”

“Who do you think’s behind going against the Council’s back? They overrode her veto on the subject.”

“Good to know!” Arsha became more calmer after that.

“Well, it looks like Marshii is still tending to you,” observed Emfam. “I know the Emboramiis and your lovers would love to see you.”

“And I, them!” agreed Arsha. The Felomphas left, then Elmpam wheeled Orbak near the bed.

“There she is!” cheered Orbak. Elmpam then gave her one of her signature ten-armed hugs. Her tail was wagging in happiness. She then brought Orbak into the hug and they stayed there for a good while. She then broke off the hug.

“It’s great to see you two again,” chuckled Arsha.

“The pleasure’s all ours, Arsha,” replied Elmpam. “You can’t imagine how worried your parents were.”

“How many sleepless nights did they suffer?”

“I think you meant to ask how many they DIDN’T suffer,” remarked Orbak. “Your parents, my daughter, the rest of your lovers, and the entire ship.”

“It looks like they kept a level head long enough to find me.”

“We had some moments where we almost lost it,” replied Elmpam. “Bashoon, Malak, and Dalengor had to stop people from deserting us while under fire.”

“It got that bad?”

“Denstra and Thengo managed to get them to recenter their heads,” assured Orbak.

“Good for them. They’ve kept the Endeavor going for a long time in my absence.”

“It wasn’t easy,” remarked Elmpam.

“No, it clearly wasn’t, but they still made me proud, nonetheless.”

“We’ll be sure to tell the entire crew you said that while you’re here,” promised Orbak. “I believe you’ll want to see your lovers.”

“Believe me, I DO!”

“Then we’ll get out of your hair while you reconnect with them.” Elmpam then stood up and wheeled Orbak out of Sick Bay. Once they left, her lovers then came in, Foresna, Gorfanth, Falnii, Lardeth, and Malnar. They all managed to get a hug and a kiss from her.

“Ones in the Heights, we’ve missed you!” sobbed Falnii happily.

“I missed you too, Fluffy, all of you, the REAL you!” Arsha replied with a grin on her face.

“The real us?” asked Lardeth.

“A comment like that,” remarked Foresna, “tells us that you had a…vivid dream, to put it lightly.”

“I went through a dream loop when I was in that coma,” explained Arsha. “It was of us playing around at a fjord. Falnii, you would recognize it from when I leashed my Inner Demons.”

“I DO recall that place, VIVIDLY,” shuddered Falnii.

“Well, it started changing when Oyed attacked, First fireworks, then added dialogue.”

“Must have been the explosions around the place,” mused Malnar.

“That’s my best guess. I was initially sad, but then your dream doubles urged me to seek the real versions of you out. I couldn’t really argue with that logic now, could I?”

“Seems like your mind was trying to get you to wake up,” observed Gorfanth.

“That was the general idea. I guess my mind wants to keep me grounded in the real world. I will admit, I didn’t want to go back…but I couldn’t let you suffer this war alone! Now, I’m back! And I’m gonna tear Oyed apart!”

“Not alone, you’re not,” replied Foresna.

“I wouldn’t dream of leaving you guys out of Oyed’s end. Once I’m rested, we’ll discuss the situation and plan our next attack.”

Categories
The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-4

Oyed and Arsha circled each other, daring the other to make the first move. “Tell me, my dear,” mused Oyed, “how long have you been up?”

“Long enough!” replied Arsha.

“I somehow doubt that.” Oyed then fired a magic blast which Arsha batted away before slamming her fist into the ground. A stone spike erupted under Oyed’s feet, but he twirled out of the way. He then…cartwheeled towards her. Arsha then caught Oyed’s legs and spun around quickly until she let go. He went crashing into a building.

“Using cheap theater clichés!” she grunted. A shot from the Scorpion then hit the ground near her feet. “My ship!” She chanted a speed spell and took off for the Endeavor at high velocity!


Meanwhile, Oyed picked himself out of the building. He knocked some dirt out of his ears. “Sweet ME, that was painful!” He then looked around. “Where IS she?” His comms then chimed. He picked up the call. “Hello?”

“Lord Oyed,” remarked Scorpo on the other end, “I don’t know if it’s escaped your notice, (if it has, well, I can’t fault you), but ARSHA’S MAKING IT TO HER SHIP!” Oyed then saw Arsha running!

“OH NO, YOU DON’T, YOU WALKING CAT O’ NINE TAILS!” he roared. He charged after Arsha, flinging magic blasts all the while. Someone then threw a spear into Oyed’s body with enough strength to pierce the torso and pin him to the ground. He was stuck and in pain. Arsha tracked the spear’s trajectory to see her father joining her.

“Great to see you again after half a year!” he called. “Though I wish Oyed wasn’t involved!”

“Great to see you too, Daddy!” replied Arsha. She managed a quick kiss on his head. “Now RUN!” She grabbed his hand, and they took off. They soon made it into the Endeavor. She let Elgrad go as she continued running through the ship. She passed by Lardeth briefly. “Hi Princess! Bye Princess!” she called. She then made it to the bridge. The necessary crew was there. Shalvey then glanced at her.

“Captain on the bridge!” she called. Denstra quickly left the Captain’s chair and took her usual one while Arsha sat down.

“Nazay, has everyone made it?” called Arsha.

“Everyone that didn’t volunteer to cover the retreat!” replied Nazay.

“Damn!” growled Arsha. “Well, if they die, we WILL avenge them! Is there a destination in mind after this?”

“The Ralandren Plains!”

“Take us there!” Nazay’s fingers danced across the console and the Endeavor rose into the air. Unfortunately, the Scorpion was firing its weapons in a way that kept the Endeavor pinned to the ground.


Oyed freed himself from the spear and saw what the Scorpion was doing. “Very good,” he mused. He then teleported himself onto the bridge.

“Titan on the bridge!” called Scorpo.

“As you were,” replied Oyed. “Keep the Endeavor pinned. Once it’s scrapped, I want a kill squad here to destroy any survivors.”

“Understood, My Lord,” said Scorpo.


“Dammit! They shorted out navigation!” growled Nazay. “Malak, can you give me any visual cues, like the sun’s position?!”

“It’s still rising in the west!” called Malak. “Our bow’s pointing in that direction!”

“An Over-realm sunrise! Perfect!” declared Arsha. “Malak, can you target the array beneath the Scorpion?”

“Getting a target lock on it now!”

“Fire when ready!” Malak got his target and keyed in a firing pattern. The Endeavor’s shots then struck true, hitting the pecten-shaped array on the Scorpion’s keel. The enemy ship rocked and Nazay took the opportunity to get the Endeavor out of there! The ship went hard to port until the bow was facing the south and sped off. Once it was clear, the Endeavor and crew grew to their normal size.


“Report!” called Oyed.

“The shots hit the sensor array!” replied Dr. Borg. “They went straight to the engines! We’re going down!”

“Okay, no, that is NOT something I’m putting up with!” snarled Oyed. Black clouds surrounded his hands as Scorpo doubled over in pain. The treatment lasted a minute until Scorpo started gasping for air. Once done gasping, he noticed that his engines were fixed and the ruptures in his hull were gone. “After them, you fools!” ordered Oyed.


“The Scorpion’s fixed itself!” called Malak. Arsha pressed a button on her armrest.

“Bridge to Engineering! Give us every scrap of power for the weapons!”

“We’re consuming all the mana to outpace them!” replied Thangred. “If we spin up the weapons again, we’re never gonna evade them!”

“And if we don’t, we’ll get shot out of the sky before we get to the plains! Weapons power now!” She ended the call, and the Endeavor came about for an attack run.


“She…she can’t be serious!” chuckled Oyed as the Endeavor turned towards them.

“Come about!” called Dr. Borg.

“Nay! Belay that!” replied Oyed. “Let her fly straight and true! Full bore and into the abyss!”

“Are you mad?!” protested Dr. Borg.

“I’m not letting Arsha slip away again! I will do whatever it takes to get rid of her and avoid this embarrassment! Cannons to full power! Turn that vessel to scrap!”


“They’re charging weapons!” reported Malak

“How many drone fighters do we have?!” asked Arsha.

“A full complement!”

“Launch them all!”

“WHAT?!”

“Make them swarm the Scorpion! We need to make an escape!” Malak keyed in the commands.

“Launching!”


“DRONE FIGHTERS!” reported Scorpo as the drone fighters swarmed out of the Endeavor like bees defending their hive. “A FULL SQUADRON! I’M GETTING SWARMED!”

“YOU’RE LETTING THEM ESCAPE!” roared Oyed.

“The targeting sensors can’t get a lock on the Endeavor,” reported Dr. Borg, in a tone of calmness that belied the situation.

“THEN MAKE THEM DO SO!”

“The weapons can’t get a clear shot, whether we eyeball it or not. They’re draining power from the engines too rapidly. We don’t have a choice. We must break off pursuit.”

“WE’RE DOING NOTHING OF THE SORT!”

“That’s no longer your call to make! We won’t survive and the Scorpion is sure to be scrapped! That will set back your plans too far for you! We’re retreating, end of discussion! Scorpo, clear us a path and get us out of here.” The Scorpion’s tail weapon cleared a path and escaped the swarm. The ship then vanished in a black cloud.


“The enemy has brokne off pursuit!” cheered Malak.

“Recall our surviving drone fighters,” ordered Arsha as a smile crossed her face. “Nazay, stay on course.”

“Aye, aye, Captain!” replied Nazay. Arsha grinned. The Endeavor was still a well-oiled machine, even when she was absent.

“Denstra, I know you’ve had the Conn for some time, but I need you to take it back for a little longer. I need to see Marshii.”

“She’ll grumble at your recklessness,” chuckled Denstra, “but, like all of us, your lovers and parents included, she’ll be happy to see you again.”

“And I her, as well as all of you. You all did well in my absence. After my check up and whatever Marshii prescribes, I need all Senior Staff to meet in the Conference room with me, my lovers, and our parents. I need to be filled in on what happened.”

“We’ll be on standby for when you’re cleared for duty, Captain,” replied Shalvey. “It’s good to have you back.”

“Good to BE back.” Arsha then finally dismissed her armor and headed to Sick Bay.

Categories
The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-3

The battle raged on as everyone on the base scrambled to evacuate. Dr. Borg and her followers continued causing chaos as Oyed dueled Elgrad. “Your child’s on life-support!” snarled Oyed.

“And you’re not taking her off it!” replied Elgrad.

“Give it up! She’s been a vegetable for half a year! I thought it was kindness to pull the plug!”

“I am NOT sentencing Arsha to death!” Oyed then decked Elgrad into a wall.

“I was under the impression,” he purred, “that medical law requires comatose people to be taken off life support after a certain amount of time had passed. You’re breaking a law to satisfy your own ends; some King you are!” Elgrad didn’t respond. He just resumed slashing at Oyed. “Mister, it was Arsha who caused me pain, both physical and (as of late) mental. So, be a good little King and step aside!” Still no response outside of sword-swinging, trying to kill him dead. “Fine then, I guess Hanako’s gonna be a widow as well as a grieving mother!” Oyed began attacking more ferociously.


Arsha still stayed in bed, breathing normally. Inside her head, she was at a fjord near the sea. She and her lovers were happily laughing and enjoying life. She was leading them on a merry chase, her skirts slowing her down even as they were hitched up, not that she didn’t want to be caught. Foresna managed to catch her, then Falnii got both of them, then Malnar, then Lardeth, and finally Gorfanth. They all fell to the ground laughing. As the wind blew over them, Arsha looked to her lovers. “This is perfect,” she sighed.

“Like a waking dream,” replied Lardeth. Just then, explosions of light lit up the sky.

“Look! Fireworks!” called Falnii.

“…A new addition,” remarked Arsha. She then grinned at her lovers. “I bet you guys can’t catch me!”

“Oh, I bet we can!” challenged Malnar. Arsha then sprang up and resumed the chase. Her lovers then followed her around the fjord.


Outside her mind, the Endeavor was continuing the evacuation. Thangred, Elmar, and Orthena oversaw the equipment being moved. “No, no, over HERE!” snapped Orthena. The Pixie then moved his load to the right location. “Now put that one over here!” Elmar then interjected his opinion.

“That would fall too easily! Bring it over here!” The ship then rocked. Thangred then made his way to the intercom.

“Cargo bay to bridge! What’s happening?!”

“The Scorpion just decloaked!” explained Denstra. “It’s firing on us!”

“Well, that’s gonna make the evacuation interesting!”

“Where’s Arsha?!”

“Too many Trinnies are getting between us and the people trying to move her!” called Rellmeer as she ran up to the comms.


Inside Arsha’s head, she was at a fjord near the sea. She and her lovers were happily laughing and enjoying life. She was leading them on a merry chase, her skirts slowing her down even as they were hitched up, not that she didn’t want to be caught. Foresna managed to catch her, then Falnii got both of them, then Malnar, then Lardeth, and finally Gorfanth. They all fell to the ground laughing. As the wind blew over them, Arsha looked to her lovers. “This is perfect,” she sighed.

“Like a waking dream,” replied Lardeth. Just then, explosions of light lit up the sky.

“Look! Fireworks!” called Falnii.

“…A new addition,” remarked Arsha. Just then, the waters at the shore of the fjord shook as if a stone was thrown into them. “…And that.”

“An addition?” asked Malnar. “It’s always been this way, hasn’t it?”

“Yeah, we’ve always…always…Gorfanth, kneel down for a minute.” Gorfanth was confused but did so. Arsha then moved across his front until she matched his horns to a pair of rocky protrusions coming out of the fjord’s middle. Arsha then realized what was going on. “…No. …No, not here!” She then saw a small scene on the beach. It was a smaller version of the fjord, but it looked like the rocks were tumbling away to reveal small versions of Arsha’s lovers. As they rose, an even smaller Arsha was facing a demonic version of her. “…It is! This is all a dream!” Arsha collapsed and sobbed. Her lovers’ images then knelt to her.

“I’m sorry,” sighed Falnii, “but the Final War isn’t over. Oyed hurt you so bad that your mind went to a loop of your ideal day with us. Arsha, we’re simply not real and neither is the fjord.” Arsha continued crying in frustration.

“Why couldn’t I have kept this scene up?!” she demanded. “Why did I have to figure out it was all a dream?!”

“And who’s to say that you can’t make this dream a reality?!” asked Gorfanth.

“Who’s to say I can with Oyed around?!”

“Who’s to say Oyed needs to be around?” asked Foresna.

“Arsha, think about the real versions of us,” urged Malnar. “Do you think they’ll want you to stay in this dream forever?”

“You’re probably hooked up to a life-support machine in the real world,” supplied Lardeth. “You have to admit, that’s no way to live.”

“And Oyed won’t rest until the Realms are dead,” reminded Falnii, “including your family.” Arsha’s sobbing softened until it stopped. It was then her face contorted into rage.

“Oyed…Oyed…NOT ONE FINGER ON THEM, OYED!” roared Arsha. The scene then faded, and a bright light filled her vision.


The fight between Elgrad and Oyed continued, although Elgrad was starting to tire out. “Frail feeble human!” growled the Titan. “How you managed to become dominant is beyond me! When I’m done with the Realms, I’ll create a new one! A new world that only understands bounty, not poverty!”

“A world without change!” panted Elgrad.

“A world where everyone knows their place.”

“A world I would hate!”

“Me too, Daddy!” called a voice. Elgrad and Oyed then turned to see a figure approaching them. It soon became clearer as the figure stepped forward. The shape was a woman’s, the ears were foxlike and pointed, the skin was Elgrad’s tone, her hair was done up in a pony-tail, and nine, long, fluffy tails came from her waist through the hospital gown. Her slit-shaped pupils directed her glowing yellow eyes to Oyed. Her face was contorted into a snarl. “You got the jump on me last time! I won’t be so off-guard again!”

“ARSHA!” cheered Elgrad. Oyed laughed and tossed Elgrad aside.

“Then I shall make sure I do the job properly!” chuckled the Destroyer. Arsha snapped her fingers, and her armor replaced her gown. Mithril mesh-mail and arcanium plating enveloped her as her helmet’s visor was raised.

“Come! Let’s dance!” Arsha lowered her visor and the two combatants charged at each other!

Categories
The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-2

The Fae flittered around a mushroom ring, keeping up the appearance that they were farming. So far, it deflected Oyed’s attention as he had no interest in the Fae Republic. Good thing, too, the ring was keeping a resistance base hidden. Within that base, Fae Empress Rellmeer and her harem girl, Felfar, made their way to the center of the base, within a secret bunker where she met Oak and a Naga woman, Larana, Queen of the Blasarda Desert. The four then keyed their i.d. codes into a computer and it verified their identities. Once it was deemed safe, they sat down. “Resistance Council now in session with Commander Felfar in attendance,” called Rellmeer. “Oak, give us the bad news first.”

“We’ve been discovered,” explained Oak. “Oyed and his followers know that Arsha’s here. They’re about five days out.”

“We can’t evacuate in this condition,” remarked Larana. “Arsha wouldn’t be able to come out of her coma!”

“There IS a bit of sun on the horizon,” replied Rellmeer. “Felfar, dear, tell everyone what you told me.”

“My friends, we’ve just been granted a stroke of luck!” explained Felfar. “The Endeavor has finally managed to respond to our signals! They’re on their way here! They were two days out at last known contact!”

“That was yesterday,” supplied Rellmeer. “If Oyed gets here while the Endeavor is still on the ground, we’ll be able to get Arsha into more familiar surroundings and nearer to her loved ones.”

“That should get her out of her coma faster,” agreed Larana.

“Then we must increase evacuation drills,” declared Oak. “We cannot hope to protect Arsha with the number of fighters we have. The Endeavor has more capable fighters aboard that can help us hold the enemy off.”

“I’ll have everyone go through evacuation drills,” called Rellmeer.


Daren and Mika continued monitoring the comatose Arsha. Her brain activity was still the same, but her body still remained unresponsive. A Genie named Namdaresh then appeared. “I’m getting a somewhat clearer picture of Arsha’s mind,” she reported. “It looks like she’s dueling with a demonic version of herself.”

“Did it have a long neck?” asked Daren.

“…Yes, actually, and had…”

“Tentacles for locomotion?” finished Mika.

“Okay, how do YOU know what that monster looks like?!” demanded the disgruntled Namdaresh.

“The description came from her psych eval,” explained Mika. “She had a dream-weaving session with one of her lovers, Falnii.”

“It’s supposed to be her darker side,” continued Daren.

“Wait, you said there was a dream-weaver involved,” interjected Namdaresh. “Isn’t there one among us?”

“There’s Dorma, but I wouldn’t recommend it,” remarked Mika. “If Arsha is helped out via a dream-weaver, she’ll become dependent on them. Not enough of her will come back. The only thing that can work naturally is to call to her.”

“Because we TOTALLY have time for the natural way!” grunted Namdaresh.

“Well, if things go well,” mused Daren, “she’ll be in familiar settings.”

“Sweetie?” asked Mika.

“I heard from Felfar that the Endeavor’s on her way here. She should be arriving soon.” Mika grinned at that bit of news.

“The surroundings of her ship should be able to help her recovery.” At that moment, Norvorok, the former monk of the now defunct Vorkath Monastic Hospital, entered the room.

“The Endeavor’s landing,” he reported.

“Perfect!” cheered Mika.


The Endeavor was shrunk down to a size that would be more manageable to the Fae that lived in the mushroom ring. The landing ramp lowered and Denstra, Endea, and Elgrad came down. Elgrad grabbed the nearest Fairy man and pulled the poor guy close to his face. The Fairy could notice the haggard look in the Mid-realm King’s eyes. “No tricks! Where’s my baby girl?!” snarled Elgrad.

“Your Majesty, please!” urged Endea. Elgrad glared at her, then sighed and let the Fairy man down.

“Sorry,” he muttered. Rellmeer then flew up to them and landed just as the Fairy man scampered off.

“If you’re quite done terrifying my subjects!” she growled.

“You said Arsha’s here! Where?!”

“This way.” Rellmeer then led everyone to the bunker. “I must warn you,” she said on the way, “and there’s no gentle way to say it, Arsha’s in a coma.”

“A coma?!” yelped Endea.

“It looks like her darker side is trying to keep her mind safe,” continued Rellmeer as she recalled the mental section of the medical report. “Every attempt outside of dream-weaving has been met with a monstrous version of her lashing out at us. All we’ve been able to do is call to her. We’re thinking family, friends, and familiar surroundings will get her out of it.” They arrived at the room. Elgrad’s was glad he could see Arsha, but his happiness was unfortunately tempered by the fact she was hooked up to an apparatus that helped her breathe, eat, and use the restroom.

“…Arsha?” asked Elgrad. Arsha didn’t respond, she just laid there comatose, her eyes shut. Elgrad slowly came towards her and sat beside her. “…Arsha, it’s me. It’s your father.” Still no response. Elgrad was tearing up. “…Arsha, I don’t know if you CAN hear me, but it’s great to see you again after this miserable half-year.” He stroked Arsha’s hair. “When you wake up, I promise, we WILL defeat Oyed. …You’ve got other people wanting to see you. Let me go get them.” He then left the room. As he was making his way to the bunker’s exit, the whole place rocked. “WHAT IN?!” he yelped.

“ENEMY INVASION!” wailed a Sprite woman.

“Oh no, not today!” snarled Elgrad. He unsheathed his sword and ran outside to see Oyed, Dr. Borg, and the rest of the Imperial Council firing magic blasts into the crowd. Oyed then spotted Elgrad.

“Ah, Your Majesty!” he greeted. “Come to make a royal appearance in this foreign land? I’m honored to meet you!” He gave an exaggerated bow.

“Stay out of my way!” growled Elgrad. “I’m busy!”

“Yes, busy tending to your daughter. A little monkey told me she was here. Tell me, why aren’t you at her side at the moment? …Unless you intend to throw your life away for some reckless attempt to keep me from her?”

“That’s not your problem!”

“Ah, actually, it is. You see, I want to make sure I do the job right. What better way than to kill her while she’s bedridden?”

“YOU WILL NOT TOUCH HER!” Elgrad brought his sword down and slashed Oyed’s face. There wasn’t even a single scratch on the Titan.

“See, that’s just provocation. Now, all kidding aside, bring Arsha to me so I can kill her properly!”

“I’d rather die!”

“That can be arranged quite easily!” The two then clashed.

Categories
The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-1

A jungle continued making its noises, ranging from birds to mammals to even the wind rustling between the trees. As the jungle chattered, a man muttered to himself as he held a map of the continent the jungle was home to. The man wore black, had sheet white skin, and black mist seeped from his currently angry eyes. “No!” he grumbled as he crossed off an area. “No! No! NO!” He had four x’s on the map so far. He then roared in frustration. “We’ve searched every uninhabited area of the Over-realm and STILL no sign of Arsha!” The man, Oyed the Destroyer, then pulled out a communicator. “Dr. Borg!” he called.

“Borg here,” answered a woman’s voice.

“Status report!”

“Still no Arsha.” Oyed snarled at that.

“I’m getting tired of searching the jungle! Wherever you are, set up camp! I’ll join you!”

“Understood. Borg out.” The call ended and Oyed moved himself forward…at least, he TRIED to. He felt something pulling at his waist as he tried to move. He then looked down and saw that he was sinking in a mud pit. While most people would feel fear at such a fate, Oyed simply grumbled in annoyance.

“For the love of…WHY DO THESE THINGS EXIST?!” Black mist then formed an outline around him, and he rose out of the mud. The mud tried to hold onto him, but he proved too strong for its grip. Once his feet were free, he floated over to more solid ground. Mud still dripped off of him from the waist down. He pulled some mud off of his thigh and held it in his hand, glaring at it in contempt. “I HATE this place!” He threw the mud at a tree with enough force that it knocked a paper wasp hive down. The wasps soon poured out of the hive, looking for the infidel that dared attack the hive. The swarm found Oyed and began their attack run. The mist surrounding Oyed simply dove at the wasps and surrounded them and their home. The mist then dissolved everything about that particular paper wasp hive; queen, soldiers, brood, and all. “Serves you right!” snarled Oyed as he stomped towards Dr. Borg’s position.


Dr. Borg and her Council Mates set up the camp rather quickly. Remsu decided to add a little personal touch. She fired a spell at a bit of ground and made a mud pit, then fired another spell to dispel any unwanted impurities. “You know,” she mused, “I haven’t had a decent mud bath for quite some time.” She then slid her hand up her thigh in a sultry manner. “Would everyone care to join me?” she purred.

“I’ve never tried a mud bath before,” mused Dr. Borg. “Although, I WOULD need to whip up some protection spells for my prosthesis.”

“I think Shempari should do the trick,” mused Shefarn.

“A capital idea,” praised Dr. Borg. “All right then, Shem-” Her chant was interrupted by Oyed stomping into the camp. Yulduk just couldn’t resist!

“Looks like Oyed already took a mud bath!” he laughed.

“Laugh it up, Zombie!” growled Oyed.

“Oyed, what-?” asked Yamta.

“DON’T! …Just don’t!” Oyed then stomped toward a tent. As he reached for the flap, something flew between it and his hand. Everyone followed the direction of the offending object, a piece of fruit, and saw a monkey hooting and clapping his hands. It was Sorsha’s friend, Johgo. “…GET OUT OF HERE!” shouted Oyed as he fired energy blasts at Johgo.

“Catch me if you can!” taunted Johgo as he leapt from branch to branch to get away form Oyed’s shots. He thought he was being clever, but then he felt a metal hand punch him to the ground. As he picked himself up, he saw Dr. Borg grow from his size to a human’s. Her foot then pinned him to the ground.

“Johgo, right?” she asked. “Friend of a Free-lance Alchemist working for Realmfleet, yes?”

“Don’t know what you’re talking about!” laughed Johgo. Dr. Borg pushed her foot down onto him before letting off.

“Johgo, it is advisable to NOT provoke me. You and your alchemist friend helped Arsha at one point. Have you helped her again?”

“No!” Dr. Borg pressed down for a longer time. “I DIDN’T! ONLY SORSHA DID!”

“Does she have Arsha?”

“YES!” Dr. Borg raised her foot.

“Where IS Sorsha?”

“I don’t know! She never told me because of secrecy!”

“You’ve proven useless!” snarled Oyed. “Doctor, squish him!”

“WAIT! SHE GAVE ME A GENERAL LOCATION!” wailed Johgo.

“…It’s better than nothing. Where?”

“The Mushroom district!”

“The Northern Drelda Forest,” recalled Dr. Borg.

“So the only thing you can tell me is that I will find Arsha…within the Drelda Forest?” asked Oyed.

“That’s all I know!”

“…He’s served his purpose. Kill him.” Dr. Borg brought her foot down hard, crushing Johgo’s ribs and organs. The poor monkey lay dead. Dr. Borg then picked up the body and tossed it into the bushes. “It looks like our search is coming to an end. We rest here until tomorrow morning. I want us to move at dawn!”

“Understood, My Lord,” answered Dr. Borg.

“Hey, Master!” called Yulduk. “Wanna join us?” He gestured to the mud pit Remsu made.

“…I’ll pass.” Oyed went into his tent.

“…Suit yourself,” muttered Dr. Borg. “Shempari!”


In another part of the jungle, one of the trees continued its walk…no, not a tree, this was a Dryad. He was accompanied by an Elf woman, a man in Monk’s robes, a Naga girl, a four-tailed Kitsune, and a woman in a green dress. They were Oak, Sorsha, Norvorok, Jaynii, Kimiko, and Lona. They patrolled the jungle for a bit until Oak stopped. “…What is it?” asked Jaynii.

“The trees…they speak of…of Johgo’s death at the enemy’s hands!” gasped Oak. Sorsha looked at him disbelievingly.

“D…Dead?” she asked. “My best friend…dead?!”

“I’m sorry, but yes.” Sorsha then fell to her knees as tears fell down her face.

“His troop was a good one,” she mumbled. “They helped me out so much.” Her face then turned to one of rage. “Oyed!”

“It gets worse,” muttered Oak. “The trees report that they made him give up the location of Arsha! She’s not safe now! We must get her into another part of the Drelda Forest!”

“But Johgo!” protested Sorsha.

“The trees are giving him a respectful burial.”

“…Well, at least he had that. Could you glean where he was buried so I can visit him later?”

“I have his grave’s exact location. A Dryad near his troop has already informed them and they’re giving him a proper funeral.”

“Good to know.” Sorsha then dried her eyes. “Come on! Let’s get out of here!” The patrol then headed back to the Drelda Forest.

Categories
The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 4: Trials of Light and Dark)

3 Realms 4-36

A Realmgate Repair ship lay in ruins below the Under-realm Realmgate it was assigned to. The crew of the Scorpion worked fast as they began the countdown on the explosives they had placed. “All right, that’s it, everyone!” called Scorpo. “Get inside and move us back!” They wasted no time in obeying. Once they were at a safe distance, the countdown went from 10 to 0. The instant it did, the bombs exploded and tore through the Realmgate. Soon, it fell, a blackened hulk sinking beneath the waves. This was the same for every Realmgate in every realm. Scorpo called Dr. Borg. “Our target’s down,” he reported.

“As are the other targets, from what I’ve heard,” answered Dr. Borg. “That’s all of them. Our organization is the only one that can cross the Realms. Oyed will be making his address any second now.” The instant the call finished, the skies across the Realms became covered in black clouds. A hole in the clouds then opened and Oyed appeared in it.

“You have all failed to take me down!” he proclaimed to the Realms. “With the Realmgates gone, you have no choice but to pray to me for travel between Realms! And for those thinking Arsha can save you, FORGET IT!” He then displayed what he did to Arsha. “As you can see, Arsha was nothing more than a mere fox and I was the hunter that slaughtered her! To all those who dare oppose me, give it up! Your hope is dead! Your future is dead! Your hero, Arsha, is dead! I am the true master of the Realms! You only exist to amuse me! The instant you don’t, I will destroy the Realms and make a single Realm! I will fix my children’s mistakes one way or another! Bow to me! Obey me…or SUFFER!” The hole closed, but the clouds remained, as did the grief of the Realms.


Over in the Over-realm, Elgrad and Hanako were being comforted as best they could be by their friends and Arsha’s lovers. Elgrad then knelt down. “…This is it, isn’t it?” he mumbled as he drew a knife.

“Elgrad, NO!” pleaded Endram.

“ELGRAD, YES!” wailed Elgrad. “MY DAUGHTER IS DEAD! I’VE LOST MY KINGDOM! THERE’S NOTHING FOR ME NOW!”

“HOLD!” shouted a new voice. It was Falheem. She managed to wrestle the knife out of his hands. “Elgrad, it’s not your time!”

“NOT MY TIME?! MY DAUGHTER IS DEAD!”

“No!”

“…Don’t give me hope! Hope is dead!”

“Arsha’s alive, so is hope!” Falheem then summoned a loom with a tapestry still being woven. Each thread was still weaving itself through the strings of the loom. On what was completed, one could see the major events of Arsha’s life.

“…Arsha’s life is still being woven?!” asked Elgrad.

“Exactly. We still don’t know how it will end.” Elgrad still stared in disbelief, then he sheathed the knife.

“Well, it WON’T be ending any time soon!” he declared. “If Oyed was that sloppy, then that’s a weapon to use against him! I’m not giving up anymore! With the Realmgates gone, I’m severed from my Realm, but I will take this chance to find her! I will scour EVERY falm of the Over-realm, right down to the precise zarruk! When I find her, I’ll look for Oyed and then KILL him!”

“If you think, for one minute, you’re doing this alone,” called Foresna, “then, Your Majesty, you’re out of your Ones-damned mind!”

“We’re joining you!” proclaimed Emfam. “You have the resources of the Over-realm at your disposal!”

“Everyone!” called a new voice. It was Denstra. “Everyone, did you see Oyed’s…?!”

“Falheem proved him wrong!” replied Elgrad. “Arsha’s alive! The tapestry of her soul’s still being woven!”

“…Need a ship to help scour the Over-realm, then?”

“Commander, I will happily accept your offer! Falheem, can we rely on the Divine Ones to help?”

“If my siblings can be found,” replied Falheem. “Somehow, they’ve passed beyond my sight. I must search the Realms and find them. I shall start in the Under-realm.”

“Good luck. Join us when you can.” Falheem bowed to Elgrad and vanished in black smoke.

“This way,” directed Denstra as she led everyone back to the Endeavor. The search was on!


Falheem arrived in Frigandor and immediately felt the presence of her fellow Divine Ones. “…Here? All in one place? …So low?!” She followed the presence to a cave in a glacier and went inside. After an hour, she found a room with her fellows hanging like meat in a butcher’s storage room! They were all emaciated and ashen-skinned with a tendril embedded into their spines! “WHAT IN ALL THE REALMS?!” she yelped. “My siblings! What happened to…?!” A metal tendril then buried itself into her spine and shocked her. As she screamed, the tendril drained black liquid from her body. She soon became emaciated like her fellows, then the tendril made her join them. She lost consciousness as the people behind this stepped into the room. One of them was a robot with more human-like features and a black visor with two red lights functioning as eyes, the second was Dr. Borg.

“I bet no little girl alive could boast of having such a massive doll collection,” joked the robot in Jansha’s voice.

“Indeed,” replied Dr. Borg as she patted the robot’s head like a parent would with their child. “Speaking of which, how’s the new body working out, Jansha?”

“Better than ever!” answered the robot, the new Jansha. “So much more efficient than Dr. Ganshar’s construction!”

“Good to hear. It should help process the Divine Mana as efficiently as an organic’s body.”

“We still need Oyed’s.”

“That will come in time. For now, we must still keep this hidden until Oyed’s sufficiently distracted enough.”

“All right, Mom. In the meantime, we need to ensure that no one can fight in Arsha’s memory.”


The Realm Trinity Imperial Council met again. Oyed was grinning from ear to ear. “You should have seen the look on Elgrad and Hanako’s faces as I made it clear that they were gonna bury their daughter!” he laughed. “I have NEVER seen anyone fall into despair so quickly!”

“My Lord, this has secured victory for us!” praised Dr. Borg. “The soldiers are dancing in the streets right now!”

“As they should! Oh, I have NEVER felt such joy! The Final War’s going OUR way now! No need for Drows or Shadow Dragons! They can keep the Manticores and Sphinxes! The Gryphons and Gorgons can join Realmfleet! IT WON’T MATTER! WE WILL ALWAYS WIN!” The ale was passed around as Weltam came back in. After Reb stabbed her, she was returned as a Revenant. “Ah! Weltam Forsorna! Come! We’re just celebrating our recent victory!”

“With Arsha dead as a door nail,” giggled Remsu, “we’re all riding on a victory!”

“Yeah, she can’t get any deader than that,” mumbled Weltam as her face faded to a pained smile, she then muttered under her breath “unless we kill her again.”

“…Kill her again?” asked Oyed. Weltam then decided to change the subject.

“Hey, Remsu! You said you wanted to try out a Felansi Dancer’s dress?!” She pulled out a design-book ladened with all sorts of dresses for Felansi dancing.

“Weltam,” called Oyed.

“I was thinking this design has enough frills at the hem for a little exciting flash as you swish them.”

“Weltam.”

“Although, I must admit, that design looks a little more flattering on someone who’s a little more, erm, how do I put this politely…larger in the waist.” Oyed then snatched the book out of Weltam’s hands as everyone glared at her.

“I DID kill Arsha, right?” asked Oyed. “Tell us Arsha’s dead. We all need to hear these words.”

“…Did…did you have to hear all those…words…exactly?” Dr. Borg’s metal hand then grabbed Weltam’s shirt and yanked her towards her face.

“She’s still alive?!” snarled the Cyborg Sprite through gritted teeth. By now, everyone was very, VERY angry!

“One of our operatives,” sighed Weltam as she told the truth, “saw Falheem whip out Arsha’s soul loom in front of her parents, lovers, and potential in-laws. It’s still weaving itself.”

“Oyed!” Dr. Borg turned her gaze to the Titan as she shoved Weltam back.

“I mean, with the amount of wounds I gave her, not even a Champion’s Aura should have saved her!” protested Oyed. “Gravity can still kill someone at that height! Weltam, of all the times to deliver this news…!”

“Hey, don’t kill the messenger!” gulped Weltam. “I just though we should prepare for her return!”

“She CAN’T return!” growled Tormo.

“I guess it WOULD be a setback, after Oyed’s address to the Realms.”

“YOU THINK?!” roared Oyed. He then turned to his minions. “You and I are all gonna search every zarruk of the Over-realm! If she breathes, we’re THROUGH! Now! Let’s! MOVE!”